British Airways Gatwick First lounge to close at 3pm … and permanently from November?

In what amounts to another slap in the face for British Airways Executive Club Gold card holders, British Airways announced yesterday that the First Class lounge at Gatwick Airport will now be closing from 3pm daily.

The rationale for this is that this is the departure time for the last flight of the day which has a First Class cabin.

Gold card holders will need to use the Terraces lounge next door from 3pm.  BA has said that additional seating will be installed in the lounge, although that will be ‘at a later date’ and not in time for the introduction of 3pm closing on April 13th.

As a very marginal piece of compensation, sandwiches will be made available until 8pm in the Terraces lounges.  Apparently they are now removed at 6pm leaving no fresh food at all.  Bacons rolls will also be available until 9.30am.

BA First lounge Gatwick

In theory, you may expect me to be annoyed by this.  However, as I wrote last year when I was in the First Class lounge at Gatwick, it is a complete dump.  On that occasion I walked out and used my Priority Pass to visit the No 1 Traveller lounge downstairs, which is an oasis by contrast.  Some photos from No 1 Traveller at Gatwick North are in this article.

There is also a rumour going around on Flyertalk that the First lounge at Gatwick will be closed entirely in November 2015In November 2016, British Airways will move to the South Terminal and that will have only one lounge with no dedicated First / Gold facility at all.

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I've nothing to add to the BA hacking saga, but feel free to add your comments here!
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  1. RIccati says:

    OT: BA Household accounts locked and Avios removed. However, I have one account that is part of Household but not on Awardwallet check. That account was left untouched and no Avios were removed from it.

    • Danksy says:

      Mine too!

      • All my points have been removed, the description for the transaction is “Ex-Gratia – Manual Avios Adjustment”

    • 5 household accounts – all linked to awardwallet blocked! 400,000 Avios missing and Tesco transfers stuck in limbo.

      What’s the process of getting these open again? I was expecting a post of this from Raffles today to be honest, so haven’t looked into it too much!

      • I’ve had emails from award wallet that have changed two upcoming hotel stays, to random dates! They’re with Accor.

    • So has BAEC been hacked. Seems to be a lot of people on twitter complaining. My non household account is inaccessible.

    • Moonman says:

      My account got emptied, I was then locked out and got an email saying their had been suspicious activity and to change my password. So I can get back in but with the avios from my account missingb, but not the other household account.
      Anyone else heard anything from BA, I emailed them but haven’t heard anything back and spent ages on hold yesterday before giving up

      • Thomas says:

        I got through yesterday and the guy was very helpful.
        He confirmed that it is BA fraud department concerned about Avios usage. I had just 2 weeks prior used 460,000 points.
        Although my account now showed zero he confirmed the correct total and my two 2for1vouchers could still be seen as correct his end.
        About 5 days or so before I can gain access again.

  2. Guesswho2000 says:

    I don’t get to use the first lounges anyway as a OWS, but the lounges at LGW are dire compared to LHR. In all circumstances, where available, a CX lounge wins!

    • Sometimes but not always; T3 LHR is a wash at least if you are emerald. Even in Asia away from HKG BA is often superior; The old CX lounges in Bangkok were terrible thought they are working on that at the moment; an CX hasn’t had a lounge in singapore for years; and we are stuck waiting for T4 for it to re-appear.

  3. FIRSTclstraveller says:

    This further demonstrates BA is now operating a two tier operation;
    LHR – quality lounges, new aircraft and latest products
    LGW – dire lounges, old aircraft brought in and adapted to cram in as many seats and aircraft (777’s in particular) with old style WTP & WT seats.

  4. richie says:

    Longterm ba are moving to south anyway. So a whole new lounge will have to be bought. north Will only be used for Easyjet and virgin

  5. RIccati says:

    Called BA at their opening right at 7.30 am. Instantly getting “we are experiencing a high number of calls” and calls dropped. This is ridiculous.

  6. justin says:

    Its not a good lounge…

  7. andystock says:

    Dont forget there is no 1’s sister lounge to visit, my lounge – small, very modern looking and again food is much better than the BA lounge(s). The veg chilli is rather nice along with the self pour cider! There is also the Aspire lounge which looks much more up todate than the BA lounge.

  8. RIccati says:

    BA knew they are are going to have a wave of enquiries (once they blocked and cleaned BAEC accounts). Seems no additional staff on the lines. Now people cannot reach them. This is inadequate.

  9. I don’t understand why the communications from BA are so poor – we’ve reset our passwords but not clear when the Avios are coming back. If they communicated better they wouldn’t have most of the calls. No communication on flyer talk (or at least I can’t find it), nothing on here, nothing on call wait message. Confusing email.

    • I suspect BA are prioritising members who wish to book flights today/tomorrow.
      I’m sure victims of the hack will be re-imbursed.
      However it’s seems like BA’s and other airlines info, or lack of it, when there is a delay spreads over to Avios info as well 🙁

      • RIccati says:

        There were a lot of lockdowns, but no reports of actual “hacks”/unauthorised redemptions.

        It is impossible to reach BAEC by phone today.

      • How do they know who wants to book flights when? I’ve been looking at ideas for the last couple of weeks. In the last couple of days, I’ve been contemplating the US west coast, so was thinking about booking flights this weekend. If I can’t book with BA, Virgin will get my business.

  10. Jimmyjimmy says:

    My Avios points cleared also. Tier Pts still showing.
    Does anyone know the process for getting these back?
    Not impressed

  11. All 6 household BAEC accounts that are linked on Award Wallet all saying that I’m unable to log as details not recognised!!

    • Gordon says:

      You need to reset your paasword. That will allow you to login to see they have been cleared!

  12. Gordon says:

    90 minutes on hold to BA and still waiting. Its good to see BA have geared up for the calls. Perhaps an email to their customers explaining what was going on might have been a good idea!

    • Unless you need to book something today, I would leave it. It will sort itself out in 2-3 days.

      • That’s the impression I got from the ba agent too. She told me they had to put a “request” through to their fraud team to unlock.

        Can’t be bothered sorting Iberia tho – which also seems to be affected!

        • IB just wants you to change your PIN. 20 seconds to do it, then immediate access.

  13. There is quite a lot of discussion on internet about the BA points situation. This article seems most informative.

    • +1

    • That’s me locked out of my account too! The BA app suggests all is normal, but reset password via website and email shows zero avios!

      This is BA securing accounts accessed by award wallet I reckon. Can anyone access their Iberia accounts ok? Or Avios accounts?

      • The reason I think it’s related to award wallet is my account is linked, but I only had 10k in points in it. My partners BA account has 140k, but isn’t accessed via award wallet.

  14. I have a quick q:
    For those who have had their balance zeroed, are you using a PIN or password on the BA website?

    I know 70% of people use a password, and I was just wondering whether it was BA’s attempt to make the remaining 30% change to a password…

    • Think Square says:

      Passwords here.

      If they wanted to stop people using PINs, this would be a very odd way to go about it.

    • I haven’t had my balance zeroed, just can’t log in. Password is not recognised. Can’t get a reset link, either.
      Award wallet was showing problems logging into my IB account, so I went to their website, where I was asked to change my PIN. So I did and it worked fine. BAEC is just having a mare and not communicating.

  15. Nathan says:

    OT- just landed in Istanbul.. Worst BA flight I’ve ever been on. Hardly any drinks etc served throughout (I had one apple juice)
    No in flight entertainment because the system was broken. Since when do they not even give a cushion? (I flew economy baring in mind but even still)
    BA are turning into an over priced easyJet

    • Press the call bell, or get up and go to the galley. Never any point in sitting waiting.
      Worth a line to Customer services….

  16. I thought this post was about the closure of the First lounge at 15.00?

    It is speculation as to what BA May decide to provide when they move to the South Terminal….
    Though I would agree that it doesn’t appear likely that a First longe will be provided.
    Dump or not, it was often a fairly quiet haven with nice fizz before an evening flight.
    This rolls on from all the other enhancements for premium flyers, too.

  17. I had my BAEC also locked but reset the password and now avios has returned. Before knowing my account was mocked yesterday, I did a MR transfer of 50,000 which has been deducted out my account but not showing yet in my BAEC. Any ideas on how I can get this or who I should contact?

  18. Back to lounges, I’m sitting in the very nice Plaza Premium lounge in T2. Very nice environment, wide selection of food, drink and seats! This and other major airline lounges reinforces to me what a let down BA lounges are (unless all you are planning is to get drunk, BA lounges are well stocked for that).

    • andystock says:

      Premium Plaza LHR T2 is a very nice lounge. Food and interior fitout is of a much higher quality than BA. Very usful for Aer Lingus and a certain low cost german airline!